Servants, not intellectual clients: the significance of Paul’s role as an oikonomos in 1 Cor 4:1 and 9:17

Adam G. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

At first glance, Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 4:1 "This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards (οἰκονόμοι) of the mysteries of God" seems fairly straight forward. It is not uncommon for Paul to refer to himself or his apostolic role as that of a slave of Christ (see e.g., Rom 1:1, Phil 1:1), nor was it uncommon for Christians to understand themselves as slaves, be it of righteousness (Rom 6:18–22) or of God (Acts 16:17), etc. In these and similar examples, the generic term δοῦλος is used. However, in 1 Cor 4:1, Paul refers to himself as οἰκονόμος, a term rarely used by him. This paper will argue that Paul's choice of the term was intentional in describing his role in the Corinthian church; moreover, it will be argued that it is a further clue to the background of the divisions in Corinth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-57
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Biblical review
Volume62
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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